Best of May 2017, Part 1

I can’t add anything to all that has been said about the latest political turmoil, other than that I’m by turns nauseated and amused by the hypocritical dishonesty of the Dems (“Comey must go, Comey must go! Wait, what? Trump fired him? That’s an outrage! Bring Comey back, bring Comey back!”) and frustrated by Trump’s lack of discipline, and the GOP’s general incompetence.

I’m all over the map on this stuff. I’m thrilled that illegal border crossings are down by 70%. No wait, I’m appalled that the GOP weasels can’t find a way to put a stake through the heart of the collapsing dumpster fire that is Obamacare. But I’m giddy that pretty much all of Obama’s executive orders have been reversed. Except that I’m disgusted that the GOP might not take up tax reform until next year.

Mostly I’m dizzy. But amidst the chaos, I’ve still found things to amuse me, even if the humor is of the darker variety.

1.Planned Parenthood tried to do a little PR work recently, as they are wont to do. But they picked an odd holiday to make their appeal: Mother’s Day. The fine folks at PP are oblivious to many things – basic biology, ethics, maternal instinct, irony – but does no one down there realize the value of timing? Would they suggest wishing all of your British friends a Happy Independence Day? Or all of your friends who are struggling with alcoholism a Happy St. Patrick’s Day? Or all of your ISIS friends a joyous Yom Kippur?

The head of PP sent out a tweet that began, “Nothing says, ‘I love you, Mom!” like…” And I stopped reading. Because all I could think of was “…a child.” Oops.

2. In a development that surprised no one who has ever read comic books in his or her life, the new Marvel “social justice themed” comics are not doing well. In fact, a Black Lives Matter-themed comic touted by Ta-Nehisi (gesundheit) Coates was canceled after only two issues. Shocker.

I remember the days of my idyllic Midwestern childhood, when I would eagerly await the new issue of my favorites: Captain America (fighting Nazis), Sgt. Rock and his Howling Commandos (killing Nazis), Spiderman (taking on the Green Goblin).

You know what I didn’t look forward to? The newest issue of Social Justice Warrior (calling conservatives Nazis), Chomsky-man (calling Americans Nazis) and Superman/woman, Spiderman/woman or Wonder Woman/man (all taking on the oppressive system that had somehow tricked me into liking girls and sports).

The colleges might be lost to us, but at least comic books are hanging in there.

3. In a previous piece, I mentioned a terrible video that appeared on Bill Nye’s bizarre Netflix series. I can’t mention the name of the video sketch, because it seems to trigger FB’s list of verboten expressions. But I’m pretty sure that if you google “hideous Bill Nye video,” “junk,” and “crimes against humanity,” you’ll find it. Then watch it at your own risk. *(Since this column appears on my own website, I can tell you the title: “My Sex Junk.”  But still, watch it at your own risk.)

It deals with biology and gender, and if I understand it correctly, argues that neither exists. What does exist, apparently, is a singer who can’t carry a tune, dancers who can’t dance, a woman in a sea horse costume playing keyboards, and lyrics that will make you seriously reconsider the whole idea of reproduction. After watching that, I’d thought that Bill Nye had gone as low as a non-scientific political hack could go.

But of course I was wrong. What could top that video, you ask? (And don’t ask what could bottom it, because although it’s actually a more accurate question, nope.) How about a little old fashioned lefty trick that I call “the disappearing commie.”

If you’ve seen any old group photos of Soviet leaders, you’ll often notice what looks like a blur or distortion in the picture. After one apparatchik or another fell out of favor, he’d be killed or sent to Siberia, and all official photos would be doctored to remove his image. It was the photoshop of the 1930s, except that instead of adding a larger bottom to an empty-headed woman or bigger biceps to an insecure man, it removed a socialist who’d done wrong.

What does this have to do with Bill Nye? Well, it turns out that someone discovered that on one of Nye’s tv shows in the 1990s, an episode discussed gender in a way that made sense. The presenter mentioned that XX and XY chromosomes are actually things, and they determine a person’s sex. She even mentioned that everyone has a 50/50 chance of being a boy or a girl, and that “there are only two possibilities.”

That scene was effective, logical, concise and told the truth. So of course it has been edited out of the Netflix version of the series. I am not making that up. Someone – Netflix, Bill Nye, the DNC? – went back through a series that ran in the 1990s, and “updated” it by removing basic biological facts. They didn’t update it by incorporating new information that has come to light, but by deleting information that makes some of them feel uncomfortable. They disappeared the inconvenient communist, scientifically speaking.

For a party that prides themselves on how much they love science, they don’t seem to love science very much.

3. Finally, I read a New Yorker article written by Adam Gopnik, called ”We Could Have Been Canada.” It’s actually an intermittently smart piece, with some individually worthwhile thoughts on what went right and wrong with the development of America and (as the title suggests) Canada.

But it’s wrong about the big things, because Gopnik’s view epitomizes the disdain with which the academic left views America. Consider his title: it could be easily read as the open for a light-hearted “there but for the grace of God” piece, with a subtitle like “Whew! We dodged a bullet.” But that’s not how he means it, as his subtitle makes clear: “Was the American Revolution such a good idea?”

To which the only reasonable response is, “YES!” I’m no jingoist, and I don’t think our history is perfect. And I don’t have anything against Canada. But stack our virtues and vices next to each other, and then show me another country that has done more
good in the world.

Here are Gopnik’s first two sentences:

“And what if it was a mistake from the start? The Declaration of Independence, the American Revolution, the creation of the United States of America—what if all this was a terrible idea, and what if the injustices and madness of American life since then have occurred not in spite of the virtues of the Founding Fathers but because of them?”

Only a leftist could ask those questions with a straight face. What if the Declaration of Independence was a terrible idea?! It wasn’t. Full stop. Res ipsa loquitur. Get out of here with that.

I’d like to think that this line of thinking was a put on, or Gopnik being absurd to illustrate absurdity: “What if up was down? What if day was night? What if Trump was humble and reticent? What if Bill Nye was actually a scientist? What if Pelosi was trustworthy, and Schumer was sincere, and Maxine Waters was sane?”

But he’s serious, and a lot of people agree with him. And that’s more sobering than any of the current shenanigans going on in D.C.

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